Nov. 11, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's men's basketball opens the 2010-11 season on Friday, November 12, when it hosts Western Kentucky at Hagan Arena. It is the second game of a Hawks' doubleheader and will begin at 7:30 p.m., after the SJU women take on Providence in the first game.
Audio and video streaming of the game will be available on SJUHawks.com. The audio stream, with Matt Martucci and Joe Lunardi calling the action is available free of charge. A subscription to Hawks All-Access is necessary to view the game. Click here to subscribe.
Saint Joseph's is beginning its second season in the Michael J. Hagan `85 Arena - last year, the Hawks compiled an 8-4 record on their homecourt.
Phil Martelli enters his 16th year as Saint Joseph's head coach, and his 26th year on Hawk Hill. The coach needs 11 wins to reach 300 for his career, and the 24th game he coaches this year will be his 400th.
The Hawks and Hilltoppers have not met since the 2000-01 season (series info on page 2).
SJU is fielding its youngest team ever under Phil Martelli with two seniors, one junior, four sophomores and five freshmen.
FOR OPENERS: Saint Joseph's has won nine season openers in the past 11 years and seven of the last eight. Last year the Hawks played the inaugural game in Hagan Arena and defeated Drexel, 77-67, in overtime, before a standing-room-only crowd. This is tied as the second earliest season opener in school history as SJU faced Fairleigh Dickinson in the Preseason NIT on November 12, 2007.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: This marks the 102nd season of Hawk basketball and Saint Joseph's has totalled 1,493 victories in the 101 years.
BACK IN THE FOLD: SJU returns six players from last season, including starters Idris Hilliard, Todd O'Brien and Justin Crosgile. Hilliard, a senior, is the Hawks' leading returning scorer after averaging 10.2 points in 2009-10. O'Brien was the last year's leading rebounder with his 6.3 average. Justin Crosgile, who started 19 games, averaged 6.7 ppg. Other returnees are guards Carl Jones and Charoy Bentley, and forward Carl Baptiste.
YOUNG GUNS: Saint Joseph's is sporting one of its most youthful squads in school history, and the youngest under Phil Martelli, with a combined 11 years of college experience entering this season. The Hawks have just two seniors and one junior on the roster. At the start of the season the average age of the SJU squad was 19.8 years old.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: This season, the Hawks will face six teams which reached the NCAA Tournament in 2010 - Minnesota, Richmond, Siena, Temple, Xavier and Villanova. SJU will also face two teams from the 2010 NIT, Rhode Island and tournament champion Dayton. Two of the Hawks' opponents are ranked in the preseason Top 25 (#6 Villanova, #22 Temple), while four are receiving votes (Minnesota, Richmond, Xavier and Dayton). The Hawks are facing four more schools picked to represent their leagues in this year's tourney. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt), Fairfield (MAAC), Princeton (Ivy League) and Boston University (America East) each topped the pre-season coaches poll in their respective conferences for the 2010-11 season.
NEW FACES: Phil Martelli will need a scorecard to keep track of all of the new faces on the Hawks' roster. SJU welcomes seven new players into the fold this year, with five freshmen, one sophomore transfer and a sophomore walk-on. The Hawks' highly-touted freshman class consists of Ronald Roberts - an All-State selection from Saint Peter's Prep, which was ranked 6th in the nation; and Patrick Swilling - another All-State honoree from Louisiana. The Hawks' transfer is Halil Kanacevic, who was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team last season while at Hofstra. Kanacevic will have three seasons of eligibility beginning in 2011-12. Also new to the squad is walk-on Taylor Trevisan, who hails from Salesianum High School in Delaware.
WELCOME ABOARD: The Hawks' freshman class was ranked as the 25th best recruiting class in the nation by MaxPreps.
HAWKS AT HAGAN: This marks the second season for the Hawks in the Michael J. Hagan `85 Arena. SJU opened the renovated and expanded homecourt last year on November 13, with an overtime win over Drexel. The arena was the result of a 16-month expansion and renovation of the previous on-campus home, Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse, which served as the Hawks' homecourt for 59 years. The Hawks posted an 8-4 record in their first year in Hagan Arena, which gives them an all-time record of 327-86 playing on campus.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawks scored a big win in the last game played at Hagan Arena, as they defeated La Salle, 74-59, in the regular-season finale on March 6, 2010. That win gave SJU the final spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Hawks would end up falling to Rhode Island in the A-10 Opening Round to end the year with an 11-20 record.
THE DEAN: Phil Martelli leads the current coaches in the Atlantic 10 in all-time conference wins with 146. Jim Baron of Rhode Island trails Martelli with 126, while both coaches are tied for third place in the list of overall wins with 289. The Hawks' mentor is the longest tenured coach at one school currently in the A-10 beginning his 16th year at Saint Joseph's.
FAMILY TIES: Freshman Langston Galloway is the nephew of assistant coach Geoff Arnold. Patrick Swilling, Jr., who was an AAU teammate of Galloway, is the son of former NFL All-Pro linebacker Pat Swilling. The elder Swilling was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He played at Georgia Tech in the 1980's before enjoying a pro career with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders. Swilling's cousin, Dale Davis, played in the NBA from 1991 to 2007 for Indiana, Portland, Golden State and Detroit.
LOCAL TEAM: Saint Joseph's is Philadelphia's representative in the Philly Hoop Group Classic. The Hawks will host Norfolk State at Hagan Arena on Nov. 20 and then will travel to Fairfield (Nov. 23) before playing Rutgers at The Palestra on Nov. 26.
LOOKING AHEAD: SJU travels to Penn State on Tuesday, November 16. The game will be part of ESPN's "College Hoops Marathon" and can be seen on ESPN3.com at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks will return home on Saturday, November 20 to open play in the Philly Hoop Group Classic against Norfolk State.